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Bengal Bytes (11/9): A look back

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How good have the Bengals looked through their 8-0 start? What do the Texans need to fix to save their season? Ben Roethlisberger is going to miss some more time, and there is one less undefeated team.

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Cincinnati Bengals Grade Report
Week 9 in the NFL started out with a loud bang created by the Cincinnati Bengals in their flawless victory over the Cleveland Browns. The 31-10 thrashing brought the Bengals to 8-0 on the year and revealed that they are on a mission to win Super Bowl 50. Of course, there is still much work that needs to be done before that can be achieved, and the grades in this week’s Cincinnati Bengals Report Card indicate just how much improving needs to be done.

Cincinnati Bengals: Top five players so far this season
The 2015 Cincinnati Bengals are the best team Cincinnati’s put out in a very long time. They are as talented as any team in the NFL and have the undefeated 8-0 record to prove it. They’ve been able to do this by keeping their core members together for the past couple seasons giving them time to get used to one another and give them a comfortable environment to grow in.

Cincinnati Bengals' midseason awards
The Cincinnati Bengals are 8-0, and one of the best teams in the NFL. At the halfway point of the schedule, Enquirer beat writers Jim Owczarski and Paul Dehner Jr. hand out their midseason awards.

The Cincinnati Bengals Are Undefeated, but Far from Perfect Through Week 9
The Cincinnati Bengals may be undefeated with an 8-0 record, but they are not one of the best teams in the NFL this season. Despite what appears to be a career season for quarterback Andy Dalton and another Pro Bowl year for AJ Green, the Bengals have not shown that they can defeat top-tier opponents in the NFL.

Deep breath at the top of the stretch
The Bengals, the first 8-0 team in division history, huddle atop the AFC North this Sunday taking one final breather before the stretch run. Trying to secure a play-off bye, the best record in franchise history, and even their third AFC North title in six seasons won’t be easy. But then, the first eight games didn’t look all that inviting, either, when the schedule came out in April.

Who's Next?

Five things the Texans need to fix for the second half of the season
The Houston Texans might be tied for first place in the AFC South, but their non-division schedule for the rest of the season is very difficult. They face two undefeated teams in Cincinnati and New England. They face the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, teams part of the tough AFC East, and they face the New Orleans Saints, who have struggled some, but still field an imposing quarterback. They'll need to change some trends in the second half if they are to truly contend for a division title.

Nate Washington provides boost to Houston Texans' passing offense
There's an alternate-universe feel to the Houston Texans leading the league in pass attempts right now with 362. Although the running game is normally the strength of the offense, this season the Texans have been forced by circumstance to rely more on their passing game. It helps to have star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is open even when he doesn't seem to be so. Hopkins leads the league in targets and ranks second in yards to Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones. He could be on his way to his first Pro Bowl this season.

Mike Vrabel sees progress from oft-injured Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney
Despite a myriad of injuries limiting his production since being drafted first overall last year, Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney has flashed skill and instincts. At least when he’s healthy.

Random Bytes

Big Ben Injury May Put Damper on Antonio Brown's Superhuman Sunday
Antonio Brown's legs covered an incredible 306 yards, and the Pittsburgh Steelers took a huge step ahead of the pack in the AFC wild-card race—but the most important step this Sunday was one not taken.

Broncos vs. Colts: Score and Twitter Reaction from 2015 Regular Season
After narrowly escaping with victories earlier in the year, the Denver Broncos were on borrowed time with regard to their perfect record. On Sunday, the Broncos suffered their first defeat of the 2015 season, losing 27-24 to the Indianapolis Colts.

Sunday Night wrap-up: Sam Bradford leads Eagles to OT win
Sam Bradford was not great. But he wasn’t awful either, and the lack of mistakes allowed his team to hang around long enough to make the one play he needed.

Cam Newton of Carolina Panthers rips down Green Bay Packers banner, says 'It's just a respect thing'
Cam Newton ripped down a Packers banner before Sunday's game at Bank of America Stadium, saying, "it's just a respect thing."